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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorJeff
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2008
     
    Hi everyone,

    I've been away from here for a bit. Joined at the end of last year ready for when we bought a big renovation project. Unfortunately the purchase fell through (HIP's really worked for us). Anyway, we have found another house and it looks like this one should complete next month. A very different type of project and I'll start posting again when we get started.

    Just thought I'd comment on the HER we have just received from the vendors solicitors. I've stopped laughing and picked myself up off the floor. Here is the relevant extract from the letter back to our solicitors.

    " ..... With regard the HER, there is nothing here which is of any concern or to be honest of any real interest. I am afraid I am very sceptical as to the validity of the information contained in these reports. It is clear from reading this HER that very little effort actually went into data collection to ensure calculations were accurate or even realistic. Indeed one recommendation made is potentially detrimental to the long term ‘health’ of the property. How can a ‘professional assessor’ calculate heat loss without even being aware of whether there is insulation in the loft space, let alone whether the property has underfloor heating or radiators? Did the assessor actually visit the house? There is no comment as to the actual presence of, type and depth of any insulation in situ, each of which will have different properties. There are many omissions and everything is based on assumption, rather than observation and investigation and is could almost have been written without leaving the office. It is nothing but a badly modified pro forma. The lack of information is quite appalling. Please excuse the rant, it serves no purpose. But with a qualified Energy Assessor and a qualified Building Surveyor in the immediate family and with 18 years experience in property development behind me I find it concerning that the general public are being asked to rely on these ‘expert comments’. Most lay people would accept these recommendations in good faith and be none the wiser.....".

    To those of you in the industry who are doing a thorough job and are now seething having read this - it is not directed at you.

    I am aware of the economics of the industry, but if these reports are to be compiled and promoted to help energy efficiency they should be done property or not at all. The cowboys who are: a) printing off some generic energy calculation, b) using a pro forma without adapting it to the house in question, c) printing out a menu of suggested improvements without any thought as to what is suitable, realistic or practical for the property in question and d) don't even properly survey the property to acertain the information which should be in the report - they should be drummed out of the industry.

    Just thought I would share my latest depressing HIPS experience with you - sorry about that. Still, with any luck this purchase will go though and I can get on with extending our new home.

    Cheers

    Jeff
  1.  
    I still think getting hold of a year's worth of utility bills on the property you are considering purchasing is as good, if not better, an indication of its current energy efficiency in use.

    From October this year landlords have to get these these reports. I'm going to have to fork out for 12 of them. I suspect I will know more about energy efficiency (not least from frequenting this forum) than the person who will be conducting the inspection.

    Why can't HMG put the training information online so I can self study it then pay a small fee to take the exams myself? It seems to me that the only people who have really benefitted from this scheme are the training providers.
    •  
      CommentAuthorted
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd 2008
     
    One of my neighbours is a DEA. He has all but jacked it in after failing to get jobs when faced with competitors quoting £50 per building so I'm not surprised that the quality is poor.
    • CommentAuthorJoinerbird
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd 2008
     
    Well, If I knew then (a year ago) what I know now about boilers and uvalues of windows and the quality of SOME building control inspections and consumerunits.....I would tried to have knocked another 5 grand off the asking price of my new house so I could afford to put right all the bodged self build work that now makes my home difficult to run efficiently on my tight budget.
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